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Saving Darwin: Part 3



Part 1: [link] Part 2:[link]

Number Two was pacing. Well, not really pacing so much as wandering aimlessly about the ship. He was concerned about Darwin, yes. He'd been below deck all day. Sleeping mostly. Both Number Two and Mr. Bobo had tried to keep the rest of the crew away from the forecastle. They meant well but if they hadn't been barred from below deck they would be bothering him every few minutes. Especially Albino Pirate. He kept poking his head in the door to see if Charles was awake yet and Mr. Bobo had to keep shooing him away.

But what was really bothering him was his conscience. What kept running through his mind was the 'welcome' speech he had given Mr. Darwin when he had first joined the crew. Number Two, had hated the idea. The man was far from trustworthy and seemed to only have his own interests at heart. Least of all it really annoyed him how readily the Captain accepted everything the scientist said. But really, as much as he disliked it there was nothing Number Two could do about it.

There had, of course, been a welcoming party. The pirates used any excuse to have a party. He had approached Charles quietly, while everyone else was busy putting up decorations. "I just wanted to let you know, I'm watching you."
He'd never forget the startled look on Darwin's face. He had nearly dropped his cup of grog.

“And if you ever put this crew in danger again I will keel haul you myself.” Number two was never one for threats and he never would have followed through with the keel-hauling bit. But he had wanted to stress how serious he was about the crew's safety.

A door opened, pulling him from his thoughts.

Mr. Bobo emerged from below deck. There was a smile on the chimp’s face as he pulled out two note cards. He’s. Awake.

The crew broke into a hearty cheer, whistles, shouts, hat waving, the works. Every one of the crew dropped what they were doing and thundered toward the forecastle door, eager to see their recovered friend. But Mr. Bobo put up a firm, halting hand and shook his head, stopping the pirates in their tracks.

“Come on, chummy. We want to see the little bugger.” The Pirate with Gout said.

“We wanted to give him this ‘Get well and we’re happy you didn’t get eaten by a shark’ card.” The Albino Pirate said hopefully.

“We were out of the squid ones.” The Surprisingly Curvaceous Pirate added.

“Come now, Unusually Hairy Pirate.” The Captain shoved both hands on his hips in a pose he thought looked commanding. “Stand aside. Surely he could use some visitors.”

Mr. Bobo gave them all a warning look. One. At. A. Time.

The Pirate Captain gave a satisfied nod and started for the door. “Very well, then.”

“Captain.” The Pirate with the Scarf pushed through the small crowd and placed a hand on the Captain’s shoulder. “Let me go first.”

The Captain looked a bit perplexed but let his first mate by.

The Pirate with the Scarf stepped down into the forecastle and shut the door behind him. What he saw gave him a pause. Darwin was sitting in his hammock in a rumpled nightshirt looking haggard. His hair was a mess and he was still looking pointedly paler than usual and from his sudden sneeze Number Two wondered if he wasn't catching a chill. But he had expected all that. What surprised him was the plump little dodo curled up contentedly in the scientist's lap. Darwin had a hand on her back, petting her gently as she was making little purring sounds in her sleep. "Polly?" This was the first time he had seen her around Charles without nipping at him.

Noticing his surprise Darwin gave a little shrug as if he were just as bewildered at her behavior as Number Two was.

The Pirate with the Scarf cleared his throat somewhat uncomfortably. “I wanted to talk to you about something.” He said seriously.

Charles thick eyebrows furrowed and he looked down at his hands. “I-I know what you’re going to say. And you’re right. I got carried away. That thing could have floundered the whole boat. The whole mess is my fault." His voice rose in pitch and he dropped his head in his hands. “I’m a horrible human being. I’ve let you all down. You can tie me to the anchor if you like.”

The Pirate with the Scarf allowed himself a smile. “As entertaining as that may be, that’s not what I was going to say.”

Darwin looked up uncertainly.

“There are a lot of great things about being a pirate.” Number two began, fidgeting with his hat. “Cutlasses, big hats, shiny buckles, fighting up staircases backward. Personally that’s my favorite bit.” His brows lowered and his mouth straightened seriously. “But the most important thing has nothing to do with the wardrobe, the ship or even the ham. It’s the family. We look out for each other, Mr. Darwin.”

The scientist winced and looked down.

“And I didn’t think you understood that…until today.”

“I’m sorry. I’ll…” Charles stopped mid-sentence and blinked up at the first mate uncertain if he had heard correctly. “Wait…what?”

"I saw what happened."

"B-but baiting the squid was my idea. You all could have been eaten!"

“That’s true. But honestly, the Captain has gotten us into much bigger scrapes than that one. If it weren’t for you Albino Pirate would be shaking hands with Davy Jones about now."

Charles shifted uncomfortably, not quite sure how to respond.

The Pirate with the Scarf smiled and extended a hand. "What I really came to say is: "Welcome aboard!"

Darwin looked up at him and a smile slowly spread across his face. He took the first mate's hand and shook it.

"Are you guys done talking yet?" The Albino Pirate peeked his head in the door, his question followed by several hushed but clearly audible voices.


"Leave them alone."

"It was just getting interesting."

The Pirate with the Scarf rolled his eyes and opened the door. Most of the crew stood directly behind it looking as if they had gotten caught with their hand in the biscuit jar.

Albino was the only one who didn't look ashamed to be caught eavesdropping. "Are you friends now?"

It really was impossible to have anything remotely resembling a private conversation on this ship. He smiled in spite of himself. "I believe we are."

"Alright, lads, enough of that." The Pirate Captain brushed by them into the room, clearly done waiting. He marched up to Charles and gave him a good-natured punch in the arm that nearly sent the little scientist flipping out of his hammock. Polly squawked in alarm. "Good to see you up and about. Had us all worried there for a bit."

Charles smiled and rubbed his arm as the others gathered around him and Number Two made sure he was among them.

"So, Chuck," The Pirate Captain asked. "What exactly are we going to do with that colossal squid of yours?"

Darwin blinked uncertainly, as if the question had never occurred to him. "I-I don't know. Obviously we can't try for London's science fair again."

"We've got to do something with the blasted thing."

The Pirate with Gout raised a hand. "I say we eat it."


The end! Hope ya'll liked it. The picture is a bit rushed and I'm sorry.
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© 2013 - 2023 chill13
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CyborgPhoenix's avatar
"I dunno what that stunt was, but PLEASE promise you'll be more careful....."